German Adverbs

What are Adverbs?

Adverbs are describing words - they can tell you more information about verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, or entire sentences. For example, adverbs can explain where, when, why, or how something was done.

There are a few categories of adverbs (locative, temporal, causal, and modal) - I will share more information about each of them on the pages linked below.

Each adverb has only one form - i.e. they don't change their endings / are not declined.

Difference between Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives:

Adjectives describe nouns more precisely, giving further information about it.

If we put them before a noun they have to be declined (the ending has to be changed).

Adverbs:

Adverbs describe circumstances and are more related to verbs, NOT nouns.

They are used to describe how, when, why or where something happens. They are unchangeable and can’t be declined.

Examples

  • Gestern war ich bei einem tollen Konzert.” // Yesterday, I was at a great concert.
  •  „Ich habe ganz vorn gestanden.“ //  I was right in the front.
  •  „Ich habe die Band sehr gut sehen können.“ //  I could see the band very well.
  •  „Deshalb konnte ich auch viele geniale Fotos machen.“ //  That’s why I could shoot so many great photos.
  •  „Das Einzige, was mir nicht gefallen hat, war, dass ich kaum Platz hatte. Ich konnte kaum atmen. //  The only thing I really disliked was that I had almost no space. I could barely breathe.

Gestern, blue = Adverb

ganz, brown = Particle (special type of adverb)

tollen, black = Adjective

Overview: German Adverbs

Temporal Adverbs

Temporale Adverbien

Temporal adverbs tell you things related to time - the point in time, time period, order, repetition, frequency, etc. of something happening.

They are connected to the questions: Wann?, Ab wann?, Wie lange?, Wie oft?, Bis wann?, Seit wann?

Example: „Ich gehe morgen einkaufen.“

Locative Adverbs

Lokale Adverbien

Locative adverbs tell you something about locations.

They go with the questions: Wo? (Where?), Wohin? (Where to?), Woher? (From Where?)

Example: Wo ist dein Vater?“ – „Unten!“

"hin" and "her"

Hin und her

The adverb "hin" describes movement away from the speaker.

The adverb "her" describes movement towards the speaker.

Example: Komm bitte her! Ich muss mit dir reden.“

Conjunctive Adverbs

Konjunktionaladverbien

Conjunctive adverbs are adverbs that combine sentences, clauses, words, and phrases with each other.

The difference between conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs: conjunctive adverbs are grammatically a part of the sentence while conjunctions are not.

Example: „Anna kommt später, außerdem kommt Jan auch später.“